WASHINGTON, April 12 (UPI) -- Ted Kooser, who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry last week, has won a second term as the nation's Poet Laureate.
The appointment was made by James H. Billington, librarian of Congress, who said he was "delighted" Kooser had agreed to serve a second term and continue his work with the support of the Poetry Foundation in inaugurating "American Life in Poetry." The program offers a free weekly column to newspapers around the nation that give poets a chance to reach thousands of readers.
"Ted Kooser's dedication and initiatives are already attracting new audiences to poetry," Billington said.
The post of an official poet laureate was originated in England in the 17th century, based on an ancient custom of universities of presenting a laurel wreath to graduates in rhetoric and poetry.
The American laureate post was instituted by the Library of Congress in the late 20th century.